When is Your Best?
I recently heard Dr. Erwin Lutzer, former pastor of the Moody Church in Chicago, preach at a meeting. In his address, he said something quite profound. He said that for the believer, this life is the worst you are ever going to have; for the unbeliever, this life is the very best you are ever going to have. While he was speaking within the context of persecuted believers, his words struck me as profound and deeply biblical.
Think about these words just for a moment. To the unbelievers, this is the best it’s ever going to be. Scripture tells us that those who do not know Christ enter into an eternity filled with separation from God, pain, and eternal judgment. Therefore, for the unbeliever, this is as good as it gets!
For the believer, however, this life is the worst we will ever have. Yes, there are many who suffer in many ways throughout our world because of persecution. Recent events in the Middle East have heightened our awareness that Christians are targets in many places.
For individuals, suffering can be very real and great. I am constantly made aware of persons who have lost a child due to suicide or another terrible loss. I minister to as many of these people as I can. The pain is real and the suffering is sometimes more than one can bear. With that being said, for the believer, this life is the worst that we will ever have.
Two of my favorite scriptures deal with this. One is Revelation 14:13, which says, Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” Note the word “blessed.” Blessed are those who die in the Lord. It is a promotion, an entrance into a much greater and better existence. Another of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:15, which says, Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (KJV). Note that the word “precious” is used. For the believer, death is both blessed and precious! I cannot think of a better way to describe the fact that the life beyond is truly going to be very special. For the believer, this life is the worst it will ever be.
I also love the words of John 10:10, which says, A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. This precious promise from God tells us that we can have a meaningful life later, but we can also have a great life now. Despite the difficulties that come and the sufferings that arise, Christ promises us an abundant life even in this experience. Are you experiencing an abundant life? I pray so. Let us today seek the filling of God’s Holy Spirit so we might know how to live a full and abundant life.